Strong faculty opposition has delayed the merging of the two Widener card catalogues for at least one year and perhaps killed Librarian Keyes D. Metcalf's plan permanently, it was learned yesterday.
Provost Buck has postponed a final decision for a year during which he will consult extensively with outside experts.
Faculty members reported, however, this action was merely delaying the inevitable. The merger cannot go through, they said, because the opponents of the plan are too numerous.
Original plans called for the merging of the two catalogues to begin this summer following Buck's and the Corporation's approval. But over 50 professors signed a petition opposing the merger which the Faculty Library Committee had passed by a narrow vote. Two lengthy faculty meetings brought no solution and increased the bitterness on the subject.
At present Widener has two catalogues; on the second floor is the public catalogue--listing by author, subject, and title all books in Widener, Houghton, and Lamont. On the first floor is the Union Catalogue listing by author almost all books in the possession of the University.
Metcalf suggested that the University combine the two catalogues on the first floor permitting 2,000,000 duplicate cards to be thrown away.
Metcalf's critics said that the merger would not save money and make research in the library more difficult. If one card were misplaced, these professors said, a book might be lost forever.